April 8, 2022
Final Budget Includes Significant Investment In I/DD Field
The Governor and Legislature reached agreement on the New York State budget late last night, after extensive negotiations. This afternoon, the Senate and Assembly passed the Health and Mental Hygiene budget bill (A9007C/S8007C), which outlines the specific funding for our field, and realizes many of our initial advocacy priorities

The Enacted Budget includes a 5.4% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), expanded eligibility of the Statewide Health Care Transformation Program (SHCFTP) to include community-based I/DD providers, and changes in language so our clinical staff can access the Nurses Across New York (NANY) loan repayment program. Yesterday, Governor Hochul mentioned an agreement to include $1.2 billion in bonuses for essential healthcare workers. This is the same amount appropriated in her Executive Budget, which included bonuses of up to $3,000 for Direct Support Professionals. We expect language outlining the direct care workforce retention bonuses will be released later today.

The final budget reflects and expands on the significant investment originally outlined in the Executive Budget. This is by far the largest investment New York state has made in the I/DD field in over a decade. Following the release of the one-house bills, we shifted our ask to support the Assembly proposal to forgo workforce bonuses in favor of an 11% COLA, which we saw as the most straightforward and effective way to allocate the funds committed in all budget proposals. Although we did not achieve the 11% COLA as proposed in the Assembly one-house bill, we were successful with our initial request – and in securing recognition of the crisis we are facing and the need for substantial investment in the I/DD field.

This success is due in no small part to the ardent advocacy from The Arc New York family. Since last summer, we have held rallies, garnered media attention, engaged with our legislators, and sent more than 17,000 letters calling for significant and sustained investment in essential supports and services for New Yorkers with I/DD. Our voices have finally been heard.

With this budget, the Hochul administration and the legislature have demonstrated a commitment to the voluntary provider sector, our direct care workforce, and the individuals and families we support. These investments are only the start of a much larger conversation about how to adequately fund equitable wages for our dedicated workforce, and ensure sustained investment the New York’s system supports and services. Our fight isn’t over, but the landscape has shifted, and we will continue to raise our voices together to achieve lasting support and solutions.

We will continue to advocate for a DSP Tax credit, which was not included in any of the proposed budget. The Education, Labor and Family Assistance (ELFA) Article VII budget bill and Aid to Localities, Capital Projects, and State Operations appropriation bills have yet to be introduced. We will provide necessary updates as bills are introduced and budget language is analyzed.

On behalf of The Arc New York, we thank each of you for your advocacy and your tireless contributions toward realizing our shared mission to provide New Yorkers with disabilities the ordinary and extraordinary opportunities of life!
This and all advocacy updates are archived on The Arc New York website for future reference. Please contact us if you have questions regarding any of this information.
Contact: Philip Aydinian, Director of Governmental Affairs 
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